Ask Inger: How To Stop Doggie Destruction While At Work?

Hi Inger!
I have a 10 month-old Yorkie named P-Nut and although it took her a while, she is now housebroken and uses the doggie door regularly.  In addition to her, we have a 4 year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix and a 13 year old cat.  All get along famously, if you consider chewing on the cats head getting along!??!  I minimize it, but also think the cat enjoys the playing…

We have tried leaving the puppy out of her crate while we are at work, which unfortunately can be about 10 hours a day with drive time, but when we return home, destruction of some sort has happened.  Thank goodness it hasn’t been anything of significant value, however, I am not wanting that day to come, so I have chosen to crate her again.
I hate the thought of her being in her crate for that long during the day and would like the two pups to be able to play during the day (cat is confined by a gate upstairs).
She goes into her crate willingly, so doesn’t hate it.  She of course is beyond excited when we get home, but then she is that way if we step outside for 3 minutes…
Any suggestions how to reduce her anxiety?
I have been reading and reading and there is no way that I can go home and take her out during the day, etc… It’s about 30 minutes each way drive time.  I considered corralling the doggie door, so they both can go in and out, but I’d think that with 2, I’d have to get quite a large corral.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
-M

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Hi there M, thanks for the great question. P-Nut’s so cute for a trouble maker!

Several important  important  issues pop out, that I need to explain. Your problem might not be what you think it is! Offering the use of a doggie door to a young pup does not teach your puppy how to hold the urge to go. Don’t misunderstand me, in some environments dog doors are great, but when getting a new puppy, teaching them housebreaking basics is important. You see, pups need to chew. Especially, 10 month-old puppy’s, yes even toy breeds! Chewing is a function of a puppy, way beyond the teething process! What they chew on becomes the possible bad behavior. 

It sounds to me like there might be a little competition between your two dogs and maybe a bit of frustration involving the chew toys. This can happen when dogs are by themselves and one wants what the other has, and if that’s not possible then destruction happens! When you’re at work there could be a dominance vibe over chew bones by your older dog,  that may not be evident when your home. 

Sometimes in multiple dog homes the older dog can vibe chew bones or be chewing on a bone and the youngest pup only wants what the other dog is chewing! Even though you may have  20 toys on the floor, resulting in frustration and destruction.  

This vibe can take place even if the older dog is not chewing any toy! A glance is all it takes between dogs who are trying to claim  possession. So it may not be separation anxiety at all! My diagnosis is codependence between the two dogs mixed in with a little doggie hierarchy and a 10 month-old pup who needs to chew on something!  She also may need the proper type of chew.

I always encourage people to teach a new puppy independence, with some form of gating as a protocol for training for a period of time. This ensures your 10 month-old pup’s chewing needs are met while you’re at work and teaches them to respect a boundary. 

Paws For A Minute® – Quick TIp: doggie demolition-  7 steps to success.

1. Exercise is important and important for training. A tired dog is a good dog. Playtime together with both dogs is awesome and should be often. Occasionally, exercise them for a few minutes separately too. 

2. Initiate going potty while your present: Perhaps before you go to work exercise both dogs and formalize the “going potty” process by you initiating it and being present.

3. Initiate going potty a second time before you leave: Formalize the process of going potty again before you leave for work. Formalize the process by taking each dog separately on leash for a quick potty break to ensure they have gone. Remember, your younger dog needs to be guided by you! 

4. Apply a new temporary set up: Try this while you’re at home (on the weekend) to start. Once safe apply during the week.  Use a corral and put the crate within the corralled space but leave the crate door open. Make sure the coral is set up in a central area in your home. This allows her to go in and out of the crate and to learn to self-soothe and enjoy her own chew bone privately. She will learn to next and feel safe while not feeling confined. Your other dog can be loose. Start with small increments of time while your home. Then slowly build to longer periods. Remember, your 4 year-old dog doesn’t have the same urge to chew, at least not with the same urgent impulse. Music helps set the tone.

5. Occasionally walk your dogs separately: This easy tip really helps train dogs to anticipate separation in a positive way, if only occasionally. The learn to accept the ritual of waiting for their turn to be walked. If you use a term such as “wait”  with corralled space to designate the area, the dog that’s waiting there turn to be walked can get a bully stick while waiting. This will divert the possible anxiety and teach them to wait their turn. Leave the ritual of play time for when you get home or perhaps before you leave for work.

6. Always leave water available in a corralled space: Make sure dogs have water and something safe to chew. Check with your vet to see what’s safe for your breed of dog.I like to suggest a 12″ bully stick chew for toy breeds. It’s the same size you’d give a big dog, but it’s for safety reasons when your not home to monitor the chewing. Use your own common sense with chew toys. 

7. Always try this new corralled space out on a weekend when you’re home, first. To ensure success, try the corral set up and dog separation on the weekend when your home. So that you can correct any unwanted behaviors and have peace of mind that the process of separation is effective. Never wing it and see what happens. 

In no time, she’ll be an adult dog and you can leave them together with a doggie door access.The need to chew whether it’s stuff they shouldn’t or provided by you does subside with age but it remains a nice hobby for dogs through out there lives.

Ask Inger: How Do You Re-Train A Dog Who’s Developed Selective Hearing?

Hi Inger,

I rescued my dog, Milo, 4 1/2 years ago when he was about 8 months old.  We immediately signed up for puppy obedience school.  He passed with flying colors.  He is a mix of border collie/lab and I think pit, but our first vet said no.  Anyway, as he entered his “teen” years (1 year 6 mos to 2 1/2) he became a terror on leash.  VERY protective.  I hired a private trainer and we did a lot of one on one to help him stay relaxed. 

Fast forward and he’s now 5 1/2.  He knows all his commands–knows them even better when I have treats.  He knows the click and treat perfectly.  He’ll come on command in our yard. Click, treat.  He’ll sit, stay and come, click treat.  When I throw the ball with our Chuck It, he gets the ball and runs to the top of the deck and completely ignores any command I give him.  I can’t get him to just come back to me with the ball let alone drop it.

He’ll only drop a toy in his mouth if you have a treat.  He loves to play, but he likes to play keep away and then tug of war.
What do we do?!  I tried going back to simple commands again and he knows them, but the second that ball comes into play or another toy inside…all commands go out the window!
HELP!!
Thanks,
Rachel from Massachusetts
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Hi Rachel,
Great question, I have to say that Milo is a beautiful boy! Wonderful that you rescued him and good job on training him plus working through his kinks for the first 5 years! After reading your question I think for now, chuck the “chuck it.” A new pattern needs to be established.  I’ll give you a few tips to regain Milo’s selective hearing.Okay, first, I’ll explain the some issue’s that stuck out for me and then give you a few exercises to try.
Clicker training is great for certain breeds and for sure creates “the special effect” of a learned trick. What I mean by effect is that it’s reward based, reward meaning treat for the trick. Lifestyle type issues like stay at the front door with guests requires a different on leash approach in creating the trust and bond between a dog and owner. Once learned “off leash commands hold with distractions a bit better then with clicker training. But that’s another topic.
Eye contact and a personal bond gets formed by leash training and verbal rewards, than with treat exclusive methods. Remember, you can show love and “positive” reinforcement  in many different ways.. voice, touch, eye contact, and oh, yes food. I’m babbling on about this because one thing is missing in clicker training and that’s eye contact and voice inflection. The focus goes on the reward of the treat not the eye contact, gestures or the owners praise. The dog is looking at the treat not the person or any hand signal. I’m not saying clicker training is bad, only that sometimes it’s limited and in your case not working.
Change the focus
The leash and the game follow the leader around the house helps to create eye contact and enables your voice to become task and the praise, not just a treat.
The leash helps create eye contact between the two of you. Isolating this process in your house helps you both succeed. Try the simple exercise of walking around the house while on a leash and occasionally stop and gently lift up on the leash and say sit. You’ll see he will glance up at you. Dogs are pack animals and LOVE follow the leader. I know it may sound stupid and boring but try it for 5 minutes a few times a week.  Use a flat nylon 6 ft nylon or leather leash not the retractable kind.
No more tricks
Tug of war and chase are never good games. Even if you’re just trying to get the ball, toy or shoe from your dog, luring or begging just creates more of a keep-a-way game going.
Prey drive is what makes a dog fetch. That translates to chase and catch and you want that instinct to be ball exclusive. So create a drive to bring the ball back! Use only one ball. That ball is a special fetch ball. It ONLY comes out during fetch! When the game is over it goes into a special drawer.
Use a treat more effectively
Start over, re-teach the game of fetch. Use that “fetch only” ball and begin the re-teach with following a few new steps. Get a treat but put it into your back pocket. Create a structure with a beginning, middle and end theme. Begin slowly, the first day of re-doing this game do so indoors. Begin with bouncing the ball to get him interested and say sit. No treat or clicker, use the ball as the focus. Say the word o.k and toss the ball, as soon as you do, crouch down and clap your hands and praise! As Milo begins to come towards you reach into your back pocket get the treat in your right hand, suddenly stand up and gesture the letter “J” with your hand (holding the treat under your thunb) and say sit. Gesturing the letter “J” is the hand signal to sit. Then say “watch me” holding the treat near your eye for a second,  he’ll spit out the ball as you give him the treat. Remember hand him the treat with your right hand and pick up the ball with your left. This pattern will get a new flow going with the game of fetch.
Dogs are smart and stimulated by motion. So be a little smarter. Use the movement of suddenly standing up combined with  the motion of the hand signal for the command sit. This will capture his attention. Eventually the hand signal (alone) will take the place of the treat and you wont have to crouch down.
Now the key to success is to toss the ball once, the first day. Only once then put the ball away. The next day, toss it twice, third day and so on. This process will build drive and interest, once he’s in the groove of fetching you can take the game outdoors. Before long you’ll have a ball-o-holic that LOVES to bring back the ball.

Dog Nipping, Biting And Gnawing On Your Last Nerve

My boyfriend and I just got a Siberian Husky puppy named Frye. He’s almost 9 months old and we’ve had him for 2 months prior. Up until now, he has been well-behaved, but recently he has started biting when he gets excited. At first, the bites were far a part and soft, but lately they’ve become more frequent and have started to hurt. We have tried various ways to discourage this behavior, such as giving him more toys to focus his attention on or giving him chew toys whenever he starts to bite, to channel the behavior. So far, nothing seems to work. It’s getting to the point where we’re afraid that he might hurt others. Frye is very well socialized when it comes to other dogs, but we live in a residential area where there are a lot of children. Our main concern is that when others try to play with him, he might get over excited and bite them. We love our dog and we want to improve for his sake. What can we do to nip this behavior completely?

Danni and George.

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Hi Danni and George,

Thanks for the great question! Okay, I totally understand. Many people with teenage pup’s often feel the urge to pass out body gear with helmets to all guests wanting to say hello to their now BIG puppy. The behavior you’re describing is obnoxious for sure and yet solvable! Redirecting such behavior means creating a little structure within your daily routine, reassessing chew toys, re-organizing how your dog gets exercise, and where,when and how you play with him.

The solution to this issue lies more with you understanding how to redirect this behavior, where to apply structure and when to initiate play and how to still make things fun.

Here are some my Paws For A Minute® Dog Training Tips

1. Apply structured exercise times and separate them from walks.

Lots of people walk their dogs and play with them without intent. They can often mix up concepts of play while walking for exercise that in turn accelerate hyper behaviors. Where, how and when you play with your dog create reactions and sets triggers.

Example: Try isolating extreme exercise prior to socialization with people and guests. In other words,  play turbo fetch first, then go on a walk.  Teaching your dog to play fetch is an awesome way to keep hyper activity targeted on the movement of a ball. The key to keeping a dogs interest is only use on special ball that comes out ONLY for fetch. Build slowly to the amount of throws daily.

2. Do a re-check of his chew toys.

Example: 90% of the time puppy parents have zillions of toys for their dogs but have a distinction between play toys and actually chew bones. If a toy is lying on the ground or in the yard, overtime it becomes boring. Dogs of a certain age need to chew, not just play. Mouthy behaviors can come from frustration and ill-timed activities. Play is often induced by movement and voice inflection and a chew toy may be tossed, but the activity of your dog actually chewing on it gets lost. Many people end up playing with their dogs with chew toys and boredom of the toy sets in quickly. The act of chewing on something needs to be isolated for your puppy by creating a “chew your chew bone” time! Perhaps in a baby gated area, while you are home. This creates an activity for a young teenage dog. Chewing a bully stick, for example, will also help tire him out and give him something to focus on that’s not a toy.

3. Redirect a positive obedience command to greet new people. 

Example: Redirection can mean introducing your dog to new people while on a leash, only as an exercise for a few weeks. The leash helps you guide your dog into a sit and then a stay while being introduced to new people. If he breaks the stay command to jump up the leash can act as a boundary and allow you to say No then quickly reinforce a sit and the positive in what you want out of his behavior. Or practice with people approaching him to do so with a treat. Have them direct your dog to sit and then give him the cookie!

Change will happen overtime. Try all three tips for a few weeks and keep us posted!

Tips To Solve Doggie Demolition/ Destruction Due To Mail Delivery

I read your website this morning with great interest. I have been rescuing dogs for about 20 years, and always managed to work out the issues. Luke, however, remains a challenge. He is about 9 years old, 20 pounds, and mutt that makes breed definition impossible. I have had him for about 2 1/2 years. In that time he has destroyed 3 couches and 3 chairs. The problem occurs when the mail carrier arrives. Luke grabs a cushion or chair arm and goes absolutely nuts. Within minutes the drama is over, as is the furniture.   My friends all say get rid of Luke, but that will not happen. He is an otherwise dear dog.  I’ve looked into Thunder jackets, but reviews aren’t great for this issue.  Any suggestions? Many thanks.
Jeanne

Sierra Madre, CA

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Hi Jeanne, 

Thanks for the question! When dogs respond to sounds, as yours has, such as mail being delivered, it’s usually indicative of a trigger (such as the sound of mail going through an opening) and territorial behavior. To solve the problem of destruction that appears to be outcome of that triggered response, a desensitization to the sound is in order. Barking or in your case, destruction can be the result of a high prey drive ( chase catch and shake) triggered by the sound. In your case, the prey is your couch! There are several ways to solve this problem. Increasing your dogs exercise and your “on-leash obedience training” is always a great idea. A group class is a fantastic way to recreate a new relationship.

 Paws For A Minute® Tips to solve doggie demolition/ destruction due to mail delivery

This is a two person exercise.

1. Put your dog on a leash. Doing so helps reinforce eye contact and the positive command and generally helps guide your dog during the correction.

2. Simulate the sound. You can create the sound of mail coming through the mail slot. The repetition of the sound will also help desensitize him to the sound and his destructive reaction.

3. The use of a penny can. A penny can or ( coffee can emptied with a handful a pennies) makes a sudden sharp sound. A sound that represents that of a police car pulling one over for blowing a red light. It has a similar effect. So get a penny can and make sure it is in the hand opposite side to your dog. Remember, it’s not about your dog seeing the can, just more about the sudden shake.

4. Prepare to correct and praise. As he goes to bite the chair or couch shake the can once, and say no! As a trainer, I prefer a sharp sound to that of water being sprayed in a dogs face. The sharp sound of the pennies in the can is scary and it says to your dog “absolutely not” to destroying your couch! Using a leash helps your dog not misunderstand the correction and take off into another room. If your dog is not on a leash he may misunderstand the sound. Remember, the can is on the other side of you so your dog doesn’t see the action or sound is coming.  The leash only helps redirect him into a positive command such as sit. You can add a treat too. The eye contact between you and your dog created from the praise for doing the “sit” command establishes you as the leader, in a good way. Dogs are usually instantly triggered by movements and sound. Good and bad. This time though, you are there to correct his misguided ways. The simulation of the sound of the mail helps you be in control (because you are creating the sound with the other person) and repeat it. Also it’s good to remember, most importantly, you’ll be able to redirect your dog in a positive way ( on a leash ) to sit and praise him for doing so! This process also says to him, your my dog and it’s my house!

Remember for extreme cases of aggression or destruction, always call your local dog training professional or ask your vet for a referral. You are the best judge of your dog, if you feel this correction is not right or your dog could become more aggressive then do not do it. Your instinct is telling you that you have a bigger problem on your hands and you need to address that with your vet.

The Bark-o-holic Apartment Dog. Owner Rehab Tips

ASK INGER/ Barking
Hi Inger,
 3 months ago, we rescued a 2 year old Great Dane who we affectionately named Shortie. (At two years, she’s only 75 pounds, but perfectly healthy and gorgeous. She’s the sweetest, smartest, most amazing dog.) When we first got her, she was afraid to bark. We have been training her every day, including how to “Speak!”
 
She has a beautiful voice and generally does not cause an issue with her barking. Lately, there are certain noises that cause her to bark and howl and become really protective. Examples include the sound of wire hangers, the metal drain plug and bottles of nail polish clinking together. I worry that something related to her unknown past really upsets her, and we’re trying to minimize her stress. Do you have any advice on how to assure her that the noises she hears are safe?
Thanks in advance,
 Lee & Jason
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Hi Lee and Jason,
Shortie doesn’t sound like a bark-o-holic yet. However, you’ve only had her 3 months! Best to nip the behavior in the bud now, so thanks for your question. She sure is gorgeous and fantastic that you rescued her! Here’s the scoop on barking…
To answer your specific question, fist I must say there are many reasons that dogs bark. In your case, it’s not a question of “safe” to bark for a dog it’s more about territory, age and dominance. I think it’s very important for all owners to understand the nature of the bark. It’s a communication thing and often a misunderstanding. A young puppy can bark out of separation anxiety whereas an older pup could have a barking problem due to a boredom issue.
The occasional communication mixed signal with dog and owner can be the same as dating. Men think one way and women another? Who knew that when he said, I like those jeans, she thought, does he thinks her butt looks fat? Get it? So the reason a dog barks may actually come from a completely different place then what the owner is predicting.
In your case, it sounds like a mixed signal. Barking at noises like hangers, nail polish bottle etc. is really just a lack of socialization not necessarily fear. The reaction con also be compounded by giving Shortie too much initial space in her new home, while you are not at home. This can give a new dog a sort edge to protect and well, not relax.
A great training exercise to do is a bit of leash training in the house. Only for 10 minutes or so a few times a week put Shortie on a leash in the house and walk her around. As she barks at simulated noises, redirect her to sit. The leash help create eye contact and allows you to praise her for sitting. This redirection onto a positive command helps emphasize your prominence as her owner and helps her to psychologically relax. In other words, it translates to… your house, your in charge and she can chill.
Lastly, make sure that when your not at home she does not have access to a front window. Often dogs spend hours looking out the front window and learn to bark at every noise and person. When your dog is home alone, no one is there to correct her behavior and it can become a problem. Music is a great barking reducer too. When you leave your dog at home, put music on to trigger your leaving. The mellow sound of love songs or what I call “spa” music will create a mellow environment to sleep until you come home.
Keep us posted on your progress! 

A Straight Up Answer About Having An 8 Week-Old Puppy

Paws For A Minute® / ASK INGER-Q&A
Question:
I recently purchased, Montauk, see attached. She is a beautiful 8 week-old
“miniature” english Bulldog. 
I have set her up with a crate and a small pen area in my kitchen – about 8ftx3ft in total. I had read a lot about crate training so had been taking her outside frequently over the first few days to go potty. I think she was beginning to understand and respond.
I live in New York City and went to the vet for the first time yesterday. He basically explained to me that as she has not had any vaccinations yet that she must stay inside at all times until the shots are completed when she is about 17 weeks-old. Do you agree with this? I definitely don’t want to put her in danger but feel that keeping her confined in this space for the next 8-weeks is hardly a good life?
In addition, if I am to keep her in the crated / fenced area. What should her schedule look like? Do I only take her out when I play with her (maybe twice) per day? For the rest of the time she is in the fenced area? And I should go about my normal day.
Really appreciate your help. No one seems to give straight answers.
                                                                                                - Richard
ANSWER:
Hey, thanks for the great questions. She’s gorgeous and congrats on the new puppy!
 Firstly, yes I do agree with your vet. The problem is that many pet professionals neglect to tell owner’s “why” they should so a certain protocol, hence the confusion. The reason (very young) pup’s should not go outdoors, until fully inoculated, is because they should receive a series of shots, which are complete at around 17-weeks. This is to prevent many viruses but an important one to note is called parvo, a very contagious illness that pup’s can pick up from there pads. The incubation of this type of virus is roughly 15 days and owners wouldn’t know it until their puppy gets sick. Vomiting and diarrhea are the symptoms and rapid dehydration can be the killer, literally. So that’s the main reason, however, remember your pup’s been on the planet only 8 weeks, what’s the hurry? Oh I know, housebreaking.
Yes, well, that’s the next topic of conversation, leaning to go poop outdoors!
Paws For A Minute® / new puppy 8 weeks-old
 Even if your puppy appears to be getting the concept of going to the bathroom outside, biologically she can’t hold it 8 hours (at 8-weeks of age) that happens in stages. So you could neurotically feel compelled to take our puppy outside 45 times a day, because pup’s that age poop a lot, but the truth is that she needs to grow in order to learn to hold the urge to go. Yes, training is apart of that, but your not accelerating the training process at this young age by thinking she understands. Your main mission right now is to teach your new puppy to self-soothe and begin to understand the process of where to go potty.Teaching when to go potty comes later
Learning to self-soothe means teaching your pup to chill by herself (within a safe space) such as a gated area. At 8-weeks a puppy’s day consists of  playing , eating, peeing, pooping, learn how to (go in and out) of the crate, chewing, and get to know you! Think infant. Sleeping in the gated area all night long is a big deal. Music or a sound machine will help. Keep papers or wee-wee pads in one end of the gated area. When you take her out of the gated space, take her out on a leash, and guide her to spot (on a patio or yard) for potty on a wee-wee pad. Dogs will learn by routine, so it’s up to you to set one. Don’t expect for them to just “get it,” cats do that, not dogs. Remember, even if a puppy stumbles out a patio door (that’s kept open) to go potty, doesn’t mean she’s even close to being housebroken. That happens from a combo of training and age! After she goes potty then it can be playtime with you, but for 20 minutes or so at a time! Remember, this can be many, many times a day! You can also hang inside the gated space with her.
You mentioned this type of routine is hardly the good life? Don’t think of it that way, she’s a baby. A ball rolling at that young age is a good time. Have fun and get to know each other. Just like a human baby, puppies at that stage; eat, play, pee, poop, sleep. Now, having said that, when your puppy becomes 12 or 14 weeks-old, the party begins. All papers in the gated space come up, the crate door shuts for periods of time, triggers of music get introduced, commands get implemented, teething starts and the housebreaking concept comes alive.  Stay tuned for stage two of the puppy process which is only a few weeks away. I hope this helped and helps others. Please keep us posted on your progress!

Ask Inger: Dogs And Getting into the Trash

Hi Inger,

What’s the best way to combat stubbornness? Roxy, our seven year old pitt bull mix is a great girl, but very stubborn. She does what she wants when she wants. She has even been known to be spiteful, i.e. If we leave the house and she doesn’t like it, she will go through the trash and leave it all over the house.

She’s done this many many times. We now have a gate keeping that area closed off, but we would like to find out how to prevent these kind of actions as well as other stubborn moments.

An additional question I have is about socialization. I regret to say that Roxy wasn’t socialized very much as a puppy (with other dogs that is, with humans she was constantly socialized).

We want to make it possible for her to play with other dogs, how do we go about it? Roxy in general has been good playing with male dogs and puppies, but not really with other female dogs. What should we do if we’d like to socialize her more?

Continue reading

Ask Inger: The Barking Dog Syndrome. How Do I Get It To Stop?

I have a dog named Romeo about 2 years ago. He’s been great and I love him very much, however my roommate does not. Unfortunately, Romeo has a barking problem, whenever anyone gets close to our apartment door, or enters / exits our apartment Romeo barks uncontrollably and it is very loud and piercing. Admittedly I find it annoying as well, but I can deal with it, my roommate can not and it is causing a riff.

So I was thinking about getting Romeo a bark collar, but they are kind of expensive and I want to know what is what before I purchase anything. I’m thinking preferably to get one that emits a sound humans can’t hear but dogs can, does something like that exist? I really don’t want one that shocks him, unless you think it’s not a big deal and I can use one like that.

The other kind I see all over are the citronella ones, but they seem so bulky and he’s a tiny dog so I don’t see that working out.

Anyway, what are you thoughts? What should I do / buy to start correcting this problem?

                                                        Paul

 

Hi Paul, Thanks for your question! It’s a common one.  Remember behaviors take time to develop and they also take a little time to go away. There are various issues that contribute to barking and why dogs bark. Some barking is due to boredom, triggers, lack of training, separation anxiety, lack of exercise and so on… Owners can play a huge part too. Yelling “NO” constantly at your dog puts you both into the looney camp. Bark collars are not the answer. Look into your daily life and make a list of the times your dog barks. It will help isolate where you need to focus. Here are a few tips to get you started on the road to recovery.

 

Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle Dog Training

Tips To Help Barking At The Front Door

 

Everyone should note:  If your dog is barking his head off all day long, that is what’s called boredom barking and it’s up to you, as owners, to make sure all exercise needs are met!

 

So before you do any corrections get on your running shoes  and warm up your throwing arm. Ultimately, a tired dog is a good dog! Hello, get off the couch! Therefore, if you have exercised your dog daily and barking is still an annoying sound effect, the below may help. 

 

 

1. One option is to create a bone chewing time by using a baby gate. This can help in creating a new pattern. Gate one or two of the dogs in a kitchen or hallway for bone chewing time. For multiple dogs breaking up the pack can stop the trigger of one dog instigating the barking. Doing so will help train your dog over time out of the pattern of scouting for the person, noise or action to bark at. Music is key, to soothe the beast during this peaceful time. Remember, this is NOT meant to be a punishment place! AND implementing this 20 minute space a few times a day should be done when you are home. It helps break up the barking pattern.

 

2. Another option is to know when the barking happens is to put music on in advance. Sounds crazy, but this will really break up the pattern of being alert to outside noises. It also sets a tone and a completely different atmosphere to your house. Much less trigger oriented. Not meant to be a cure, but it will help.

 

3. A third option is to correct this barking with a shake of a penny can from out of sight! Your dog should not see you shake the can.

 

This next tip is not for every dog or owner. So really assess your circumstance carefully. Use your common sense! Not all dogs can handle a loud noise and others can and will respond no problem.

 

The trick  is to not let your dog see you shake the can. It’s just really about the sudden, quick sound. This correction is not meant to scare, just make as clear communication that no barking allowed. You should think of this correction more like a police siren pulling a car over for speeding. Know that not all dog temperaments are right for this type of correction. Note: Very timid dogs will respond well to a firm no, that should ban the barking and do the trick. If your dog has a really strong, confident personality the penny can “shake” can be tolerated and send the right signal to zip it.

 

Take a coffee can, empty it,  then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this quick correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit. Then praise, love and maybe even a treat!

 

If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have a little foresight to your circumstance then the bad dog behavior will go away. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them.then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this “quick” correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit.

 

Add praise, love and maybe even a treat! If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have foresight to your circumstance and the bad dog behavior will go away. By the way, a tired dog is always a better dog. So exercise is always a great routine to help barking problems. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them!

Ask Inger: My Dog Chooses When He Wants To Listen. Selective Hearing?

Ask Inger: My Dog Chooses When He Wants To Listen. Selective Hearing?

Hi, Inger! A few months ago my boyfriend and I adopted the most well behaved Lab ever, Max. He’s seriously such an amazing companion and already knew several basic commands as well as has awesome leash behavior. We’re spoiled! We live near a dog park and even a dog beach so we love to get him out and about.

The only issue Max has is that whenever he is off-lead, he could care less about his humans (us) and is only interested in running around like a crazy man and visiting with new dogs (social butterfly!). How do we get Max to be more watchful when he is off lead?

We’re trying to make him more responsive to us using treats but it seems like he comes for the treat, and then takes off again – only coming back when he’s hungry (not as often as you’d think). At this point, we’re not sure if he can ever be off-leash at the beach as there are no fences and we can’t stop him from running around.

Sam

Hi Sam,

Great question! Many dog owners suffer from having their only dog hear words like COOKIE extremely well, yet words like “let’s go” at the dog park become in audible. Go figure, a similar hearing dysfunction can happen with family members too. Here’s the scoop. Often, what is deemed to be a well-mannered dog by many owners and new dog parents of a rescue dog is actually a manifestation of age, not necessarily obedience.  Now hang on, don’t get your knickers in a knot, I am not suggesting your dog is not “super” smart, or fabulous. I’m saying that in many cases, like yours, you or your dog have not participated in formal obedience classes. Therefore, you are winging-it and so is your dog. This technique (of winging-it) or treat training initially works really well with a puppy. Owners usually get that quick response of their pup eagerly wanting to please. What the puppy is responsive to is the owner’s body language and high voice inflection praise and treat. But by teenage-hood, like with humans, forget about it, in one ear, out the other. Then what?

Teach your dog to come, sit and wait for a release command. The missing link is that you just be a little smarter than your dog teach him to want to finish the command. Sometimes people hear positive reinforcement and treat training and end up coaxing their dog more than really training them. Playing a game of hide-and-seek in your house should fix the temporary hearing impairment. But wait, you need to teach your dog to seek you out, sit and wait for a release.

I recommend teaching this systematically in a step-by-step process. The dog owner tip is that you need to teach it with a beginning, middle and end. The end is the release. Very important!  You need 2 people, for walls (in your house or apartment) one dog, a treat, and a little reverse psychology. One person holds the dog; the other grabs a treat and hides in another room. The person holding the dog does so nonchalantly by it’s collar. The person hiding should repeatedly call the dog’s name. Don’t peak. The person holding the dog back should let the dog go on the third call of its name. Holding the dog back creates an instinctive drive to hear its name and WANT to seek you out. Suddenly letting your dog go creates the race- horse effect. When your dog finds the person calling have the treat already in your hand and gesture the letter “j” with the hand holding the treat. Your dog’s eyes will follow you hand signal with the hand that is holding the treat, and say sit. Now hold your dog’s focus and ask your dog to watch you. Only for a second, then say the “okay!” and give him the treat. Practice this game at home for a while before trying it at a dog park. Once dogs get and understand hide-and-seek, they love nothing more than to come immediately, sit and wait for that release command.

Please share the LOVE! Keep dogs SAFE. Tell other dog owners needing help with their dog! Our mission to keep dogs out of shelters. If ya dig?  Help support our mission follow us on Twitter and Facebook! What’s up with you? Tell us your dog story!

 

 

Ask Inger: How Do I Introduce My NEW Dog To My Cat?

Q:

Hi Inger!

My puppy, Hanni, is a 9-month-old Jack Russell mix, and we’ve had her about 6 weeks now. She has mainly been in in the kitchen since her arrival and we crate her at bedtime. We also have a 4 year old cat, India. India has basically been hibernating upstairs in the bedrooms and only comes downstairs to use the litter box and eat. We’re beginning to introduce Hanni to other parts of the house, and now India is hiding in closets, under beds, etc. My kids and I fear that she’ll remain in isolation forever! We feel badly for India because we don’t want her to feel unloved and replaced. Hanni hasn’t been aggressive with India, just excited and very curious. What do we do? Should we have puppy/kitty dates where we introduce them slowly?

Best regards,

Ellen C.

A:

Dear Ellen,

First of all, great job on beginning crate training! That said, I have a few suggestions for you to try:

1. Hanni’s crate needs to be moved around the house at different times of the day. Use a corral, or exercise pen, to give her an area where she can relax and chill out in different areas of the house and put the crate inside this area so that she can go in and out as she pleases. Make sure you put soft music on and give her water and a chew bone. This way she is being socialized to the different sights, sounds and smells of your daily life in different parts of your house without your cat being in danger.

2. Move Hanni’s crate up to your bedroom at night so that she becomes part of the bedtime ritual. Take her outside on a leash to potty and then back upstairs and into her crate for the night. Routine and structure is essential.

3. India should be allowed to be socialized to Hanni at her own pace. It may take time, but implementing corrals and baby gates in your home allow her to feel safe while your cat and dog can still see and smell each other. These gated areas keep curious and excited Hanni in check, while India has the choice to jump over and visit if she wants to! Don’t force the integration process by having puppy/kitty dates, as this could exacerbate India’s stress and fear.

Good Luck!

Inger